Edith Holsboer-Trachsler

Universität Basel, Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland

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Publications (226)686.65 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Given the persistence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and its major impact on everyday life, it is important to identify effective treatments. In additional to pharmacological treatments, psychotherapeutic treatments are also highly effective. The aim of the present study was to investigate, among a sample of patients suffering from PTSD, the influence of an additional cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention on their symptoms of PTSD, depression and anxiety, and autobiographical memory. Methods: A total of 40 patients suffering from PTSD (mean age: M = 31.64 years; 78.6% female patients) and under psychopharmacological treatment were randomly assigned to an intervention or control condition. The intervention consisted of 10 group sessions (one 60-90 minute session per week) of CBT. At baseline and 10 weeks later, a series of self-rating and experts’ rating questionnaires were completed. Results: Over time, symptoms of PTSD depression, and anxiety decreased; however, greater improvement was observed in the experimental than the control condition. Likewise, as a general pattern of results, memory performance improved over time, though again this improvement was greater in the experimental condition. Conclusions: Compared to a control condition, additional CBT improves the treatment of PTSD, with respect to both symptoms and autobiographical memory.
    Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 01/2015; · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sleep disturbance in childhood is common and a risk factor for poor mental health. Evidence indicates that disturbed sleep is associated with altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA) activity. Knowledge regarding the association between HPAA-activity and objective sleep measures particularly regarding sleep architecture in school-age children is missing. Sleep-electroencephalography was administered to 113 children aged 6-10 years (including 58 children born very preterm and 55 born at term) during one night at the children's homes and sleep duration, sleep continuity, and sleep architecture were assessed. To assess the cortisol awakening response at the following morning, cortisol secretion was measured at awakening, 10, 20, and 30min later. Regression analyses controlling child age, gender, prematurity status, and the awakening time revealed that morning cortisol secretion was negatively associated with sleep duration and slow wave sleep and positively associated with the relative amount of Stage 2 sleep during the preceding night. In addition, morning cortisol secretion linearly increased with age. In conclusion, associations of sleep disturbance with poor mental health may be confounded with altered HPAA-activity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Psychoneuroendocrinology 12/2014; · 5.59 Impact Factor
  • Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 12/2014; · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objectives: To assess the relationship between lifetime suicide attempts (SA), serum lipid values, and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in patients with bipolar disorders (BPD). Methods: Eighty patients with BPD took part in the study (M=40.60 years). After psychiatric diagnosis, demographic data, SA, and serum lipids were measured and MetS was calculated. Results: Seventy percent reported at least one SA. 52.5% suffered from MetS. Suicide attempters had higher cholesterol values. SAs were associated with a family history of suicide, current mood state, and lower educational level. SAs were unrelated to MetS. Conclusions: In patients with BPD, against expectations, the occurrence of SAs was associated with higher cholesterol values. Serum lipid values are not suitable as a biological trait marker to predict SAs.
    International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice 11/2014; · 1.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The administration of statins seems to be a promising new avenue in the treatment of patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD), though patients suffering from severe MDD remain unstudied in this respect. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate, in a randomized double-blind clinical trial, the influence of adjuvant atorvastatin on symptoms of depression in patients with MDD. Methods: A total of 60 patients suffering from MDD (mean age: 32.25 years; 53% males) received a standard medication of 40mg/d citalopram. Next, patients were randomly assigned either to the atorvastatin group (20mg/d) or to the placebo group. Blood lipid values were assessed at baseline and on completion of the study 12 weeks later. Experts rated depressive symptoms via Hamilton Depression Rating Scales (HDRS) at baseline and 3, 6 and 12 weeks later. Results: HDRS scores decreased over time; the significant Time by Group interaction showed that symptoms of depression decreased more in the atorvastatin than in the placebo group. Compared to the placebo group, in the atorvastatin group cholesterol, triglyceride, and Low Density Lipids (LDL) significantly decreased, and High Density Lipids (HDL) significantly increased over time. HDRS scores and blood lipid values were generally not associated. Conclusions: The pattern of results suggests that adjuvant atorvastatin favorably influences symptoms of depression among patients with severe MDD. Given that after 12 weeks of monotherapy and adjuvant atorvastatin patients were still moderately to severely depressed, more powerful treatment algorithms such as augmentation and change of medication are highly recommended.
    Journal of Psychiatric Research 11/2014; · 4.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Very preterm children are at higher risk to develop behavioral and emotional problems, poor sleep, and altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical activity (HPAA). However, knowledge on objective sleep and HPAA as well as their role for the development of behavioral and emotional problems in very preterm children is limited. Fifty-eight very preterm children (<32nd gestational week) and 55 full-term children aged 6–10 years underwent one night of in-home polysomnographic sleep assessment. HPAA was assessed with four saliva samples in the morning (morning cortisol secretion) and four saliva samples in the evening (evening cortisol secretion). Parents completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) to assess children's behavioral and emotional problems and a subscale of the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire to assess sleep disordered breathing. Very preterm children showed more behavioral and emotional problems (SDQ total behavioral/emotional difficulties, emotional symptoms), poorer sleep (more nocturnal awakenings, more stage 2 sleep, less slow wave sleep), and faster decreasing evening cortisol secretion compared to full-term children. Across the whole sample, more stage 2 sleep and/or less slow wave sleep were associated with more SDQ total behavioral/emotional difficulties, hyperactivity-inattention, and peer problems. Lower morning cortisol secretion and lower evening cortisol secretion were associated with more conduct problems. In very preterm children, increased SDQ total behavioral/emotional difficulties was partially explained by less restorative sleep including more stage 2 sleep and less slow wave sleep. This result points to the importance of restorative sleep for the behavioral and emotional development of very preterm children during middle childhood.
    Journal of Psychiatric Research 10/2014; · 4.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: We tested the hypothesis that objectively assessed sleep at kindergarten level predicts sleep and psychological functioning in adolescence. Method: Thirty-seven adolescents aged 14 years (SD = 1.3), of 67 participants assessed as preschoolers, took part in a follow-up study nine years later. Participants completed a series of questionnaires related to sleep and psychological functioning. Sleep-EEG clusters of poor, normal and good sleepers assessed as children nine years earlier were used as predictors for subjective sleep and psychological functioning in adolescence. Results: At the age of 14, those who were normal and good sleepers rather than poor sleepers at the age of five had more positive psychological functioning on dimensions including mental toughness, peer relationship, self-esteem, and perceived stress, but did not differ in current sleep patterns. Conclusions: Objectively assessed sleep patterns at the age of five are predictive of aspects of psychological functioning during adolescence.
    Journal of Psychiatric Research 10/2014; · 4.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated effects of metacognitive detached mindfulness therapy and stress management training on hypertension and symptoms of depression and anxiety, as compared to a control condition. A total of 45 female patients (mean age: M = 36.49 years) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: metacognitive detached mindfulness therapy, stress management training, and the control condition. Blood pressure and symptoms of depression and anxiety decreased from baseline to post-test, to follow-up. Group comparisons showed that blood pressure and symptoms of depression and anxiety decreased more in psychotherapeutic groups than in the control group. Psychotherapeutic treatment of hypertension reduced blood pressure and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Positive effects were observable at follow-up 8 weeks later.
    Journal of Health Psychology 10/2014; · 1.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Studies on adolescents and adults show that romantic love (RL) is associated with favorable emotional states. However, data on these associations are scarce for adults. The aim of the present study was therefore to explore the associations between RL, symptoms of depression, anxiety, hypomania (bright side and dark side) and sleep among a sample of adults. Method: A total of 844 participants currently in love (M = 24.79 years, 75.8% females) took part in the study. They completed a series of questionnaires related to romantic love, symptoms of depression, anxiety, hypomania (bright side and dark side), and sleep. Results: An increased state of RL was associated both with the bright (BRHYP) and the dark side of hypomania (DAHYP). Relative to participants with BRHYP, participants with DAHYP reported stronger symptoms of depression and state anxiety, and poor sleep quality. Conclusions: The pattern of results adds to our knowledge that in adults RL is not entirely a joyful and happy period of life. Rather, data suggest that for young adults in love, bright vs. dark side of hypomania was associated with a different quality of psychological functioning and sleep. We conclude that experiencing romantic love might be a critical life event associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety and poor sleep.
    International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice 10/2014; · 1.31 Impact Factor
  • Markus Gerber, Serge Brand, Catherine Elliot, Edith Holsboer-Trachsler, Uwe Pühse
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    ABSTRACT: This exploratory study was designed to compare four types of exercise activities in Swiss university students. A sample of 201 medical students (136 women, 65 men, M=23.2±2.4 years) and 250 exercise and health sciences students (144 women, 106 men, M=22.3±2.2 years) participated in the study. They completed the Perceived Stress Scale, the Depression Scale and the Office in Motion Questionnaire. Interaction effects between stress and exercise activities were analysed using hierarchical regression analyses, after controlling for age, sex and academic discipline. Frequent participation in ball sports and dancing were associated with decreased depressive symptoms among students with elevated stress levels, whereas no such relationship existed among their less stressed peers. No stress-moderating effect was found for aerobic exercise. Weight lifting was only associated with lower depressive symptoms among students with low stress levels. The present findings suggest that, among Swiss university students, certain exercises have a stronger potential to moderate the relationship between stress and depressive symptoms than others. Future research could analyze whether personalized exercise programs, which aim to satisfy participants' individual needs, are exponentially beneficial for stress management.
    Perceptual and Motor Skills 09/2014; · 0.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Preclinical and clinical studies support a role for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the pathophysiology of stress-related mood disorders. Furthermore, BDNF seems to be linked to antidepressant action. Available pharmacological treatments for depression are characterized by significant limitations with low efficacy and a major delay until treatment response. This demonstrates the urgent need for more efficient and fast-acting antidepressants. Besides ketamine, sleep deprivation (SD) as well as partial sleep deprivation (PSD) are effective and fast-acting antidepressant methods. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of SD are not well understood; especially possible mechanisms explaining the rapid, but transient antidepressant effect of SD are unknown.
    Journal of Psychiatric Research 09/2014; · 4.09 Impact Factor
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    Hafez Bajoghli, Serge Brand, Edith Holsboer-Trachsler
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    ABSTRACT: Literature is a very interesting field by itself but it could be even more interesting for psychiatrists if we look at its bidirectional effects in the attitudes of general population. Literature reflects conscious and unconscious attitudes of people on one hand and it can actively affect their minds on the other hand. According to this special point of view, literature could serve as a very precious material for psychological analysis. This analysis might be even more valuable if our subject of research is a world-famous poet like Hafez, who had a great influence in the cultures of East and West. The UNESCO, the United Nations Educational and Cultural Arm, officially declared 1988 the "Year of Hafez". Goethe recognized Hafez as his Spiritual Master and as a poetic genius and so did Ralph Waldo Emerson of the United States albeit in a different context. The first aim of the present study was to determine to what extent items of a current questionnaire of love match themes of love found in Hafez‘s poetry. Then, we investigated gender- and cultural differences in the importance of these themes. To do so, first, themes of Hafez‘s poems were compared with the items of Fisher‘s ―Being in Love Inventory. Second, a set of items was presented to Iranian and Swiss female and male adult participants (N=325; age (years): M =31.29; SD =16.28; 161 Iranian; 164 Swiss). Our results confirmed that Hafez‘s themes of love are still up-to-date, though some subtle cultural and gender-related differences exist. Hafez's love sonnets reflect the kind of love that appeals to the typical Persian and Swiss adults such as turning away from the world or ambivalent attitude towards a separation in their love affairs. The limitation of this study is that we had to demystify the inner secrets and deeper understanding of Hafez's poetry of love by taking a reductionistic approach. According to Jung's belief: "poetry just can be the subject of psychological phenomenology. Since nobody can penetrate the heart of nature you will not expect psychology to do the impossible."
    the XVI World Congress of the World Psychiatry Association, Madrid, Spain; 09/2014
  • 16th World Congress of Psychiatry; 09/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To assess the association between self-perceived exercise exertion before bedtime and objectively measured sleep. Methods: Fifty-two regularly exercising young adults (mean age = 19.70 years; 54% females) underwent sleep-EEG recordings 1.5 hours after completing moderate to vigorous exercise in the evening. Before sleeping, participants answered questions regarding degree of exertion of the exercise undertaken. Results: Greater self-perceived exertion before bedtime was associated with higher objectively assessed sleep efficiency (r = .69, p < .001); self-perceived exertion explained 48% of the variance in sleep efficiency (R2 = .48). Moreover, high self-perceived exercise exertion was associated with more deep sleep, shortened sleep onset time, fewer awakenings after sleep onset a shorter wake duration after sleep onset. Results from a multiple linear regression analysis showed that objective sleep efficiency was predicted by increased exercise exertion, shortened sleep onset time, increased deep sleep and decreased light sleep. Conclusions: Against expectations and general recommendations for sleep hygiene, high self-perceived exercise exertion before bedtime was associated with better sleep patterns in a sample of healthy young adults. Further studies should also focus on elderly adults and adults suffering from insomnia.
    Sleep Medicine 09/2014; · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of physical activity as a factor that protects against stress-related mental disorders is well documented. Nevertheless, there is still a dearth of research using objective measures of physical activity. The present study examines whether objectively assessed vigorous physical activity (VPA) is associated with mental health benefits beyond moderate physical activity (MPA). Particularly, this study examines whether young adults who accomplish the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) vigorous-intensity exercise recommendations differ from peers below these standards with regard to their level of perceived stress, depressive symptoms, perceived pain, and subjective and objective sleep. A total of 42 undergraduate students (22 women, 20 men; M = 21.24 years, SD = 2.20) volunteered to take part in the study. Stress, pain, depressive symptoms, and subjective sleep were assessed via questionnaire, objective sleep via sleep-EEG assessment, and VPA via actigraphy. Meeting VPA recommendations had mental health benefits beyond MPA. VPA was associated with less stress, pain, subjective sleep complaints and depressive symptoms. Moreover, vigorous exercisers had more favorable objective sleep pattern. Especially, they had increased total sleep time, more stage 4 and REM sleep, more slow wave sleep and a lower percentage of light sleep. Vigorous exercisers also reported fewer mental health problems if exposed to high stress. This study provides evidence that meeting the VPA standards of the ACSM is associated with improved mental health and more successful coping among young people, even compared to those who are meeting or exceeding the requirements for MPA.
    Physiology & Behavior 08/2014; · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Allopurinol is a drug used primarily to treat hyperuricemia. In patients suffering from acute mania, increased levels of uric acid are observed, and symptom improvements are associated with decreased levels of uric acid. Accordingly, a purinergic dysfunction is plausibly a causative factor in the pathophysiology of mania. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigating whether allopurinol has benefits for patients treated with sodium valproate during acute mania. Experimental Procedures: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study lasting 4 weeks was performed. The intention-to-treatment population included 57 patients; 50 concluded the study per protocol. Patients suffering from BPD and during acute mania were randomly assigned either to a treatment (sodium valproate 15-20 mg/kg + 300 mg allopurinol twice a day) or to a control condition (sodium valproate 15-20 mg/kg + placebo). Experts rated illness severity and illness improvements (Clinical Global impression), and extent of mania via the Young Mania Rating scale. Uric acid levels were assessed at the beginning and end of the study. Results: Compared to the control group, symptoms of mania decreased significantly over time in the treatment group. Uric acid levels declined significantly in the treatment as compared to the control group. Probability of remission after 4 weeks was 23 times higher in the treatment than the control group. Lower uric acid levels after 4 weeks were associated with symptom improvements. Conclusion: The pattern of results from this double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled study indicates that adjuvant allopurinol leads to significant improvements in patients suffering from acute mania.
    European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 08/2014; · 3.68 Impact Factor
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    Nadeem Kalak, Sakari Lemola, Serge Brand, Edith Holsboer-Trachsler, Alexander Grob
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Adolescents’ sleep duration and subjective psychological well-being are related. However, few studies have examined the relationship between sleep duration and subjective psychological well-being longitudinally across adolescence – a time of profound biological and psychosocial change. The aim of this longitudinal study was to investigate whether shorter sleep duration in adolescents is predictive of lower subjective psychological well-being 6 months and 12 months later or whether lower subjective psychological well-being is predictive of shorter sleep duration. Methods: Adolescents (age range, 10.02–15.99 years; mean age, 13.05±1.49 years; 51.8%, female) from German-speaking Switzerland (n=886) and Norway (n=715) reported their sleep duration and subjective psychological well-being on school days using self-rating questionnaires at baseline (T1), 6 months (T2), and 12 months from baseline (T3). Results: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses revealed that sleep duration decreased with age. Longer sleep duration was concurrently associated with better subjective psychological well-being. Crossed-lagged autoregressive longitudinal panel analysis showed that sleep duration prospectively predicted subjective psychological well-being while there was no evidence for the reverse relationship. Conclusion: Sleep duration is predictive of subjective psychological well-being. The findings offer further support for the importance of healthy sleep patterns during adolescence.
    Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 07/2014; 10:1199-1207. · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sleep problems are a well-known risk factor for work injuries, but less is known about which vulnerable populations are most at risk. The aims of this study were to investigate the association between sleep quality and the risk of work injury and to identify factors that may modify the association. A case-control study including 180 cases and 551 controls was conducted at the University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland, from 1 December 2009 to 30 June 2011. Data on work injuries and sleep quality were collected. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals of the association between sleep quality and work injury were estimated in multivariable logistic regression analyses and were stratified by hypothesized effect modifiers (age, gender, job risk, shift work, sleep duration and working hours). Poor sleep quality was associated significantly with work injury of any type (P < 0.05) and with being caught in particular (P < 0.05). The association between poor sleep quality and work injury was significantly higher for workers older than 30 years (odds ratio>30 1.30 versus odds ratio≤30 0.91, P < 0.01), sleeping 7 h or less per night (odds ratio≤7 1.17 versus odds ratio>7 0.79, P < 0.05) and working 50 h or more per week (odds ratio≥50 1.79 versus odd ratio<50 1.10, P < 0.01). Work injury risk increased with increasing severity of sleep problems (P < 0.05). Prior work injury frequency increased with decreasing sleep quality (P < 0.05). Older age, short sleep duration and long working hours may enhance the risk of work injuries associated with sleep quality.
    Journal of Sleep Research 06/2014; · 2.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Work-related stress can lead to various health problems ranging from job-related exhaustion to psychiatric and somatic diseases. Biomarkers of job-related exhaustion could help to improve our understanding of the biological mechanisms and might be useful to guide prevention and treatment strategies. The present study included 12 male cases suffering from job-related exhaustion and 12 matched healthy controls. Severity of exhaustion was assessed with the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and the Shirom-Melamed Burnout Measure (SMBM). Whole genome expression profiles derived from whole blood cells (baseline and following glucocorticoid-receptor (GR) stimulation with 1.5 mg dexamethasone p.o.) and corresponding plasma cortisol levels were analyzed. All cases participated in regular aerobic exercise for 12 consecutive weeks and were then re-assessed at follow-up for exhaustion symptoms as well as for cortisol levels and gene expression profiles. At baseline, we found increased basal cortisol levels and an enhanced suppression of plasma cortisol concentrations following dexamethasone in cases suffering from job-related exhaustion. Gene expression analysis revealed that 1.6-fold more transcripts were significantly regulated by dexamethasone in cases as compared to controls. At follow-up after 12 weeks of regular exercise training which was accompanied by significantly improved exhaustion severity scores, cortisol levels and gene expression profiles of cases normalized to the levels observed in controls. In conclusion, we detected GR-induced neuroendocrine and gene expression changes in cases suffering from job-related exhaustion which are in line with an increased sensitivity of GR function. This GR dysregulation normalized with symptom recovery.
    Psychoneuroendocrinology 06/2014; · 5.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Postpartum Depression (PPD) implies an impairment of maternal adaptation. Moreover, there is increasing evidence that children of mothers with PPD are at risk for developmental abnormalities, including emotional/behavioural difficulties in later life. The aim of this study was to investigate in the association between maternal psychopathology, mother-infant-relationship and infant irritability three months postpartum. We expected that mothers with PPD would report more parenting stress and more difficulties in postpartum bonding, and that these difficulties would be associated with more infant irritability. Methods: In a prospective study a total of 127 mothers (mean age: 33.3 years; 43% primipara) completed a series of questionnaires related to postpartum depression, sleep quality, parenting stress, maternal sleep quality, postpartum bonding and infant irritability. Of the 127 participants, 21 reported to suffer from PPD. Results: Compared to mothers without PPD, mothers with PPD reported increased parenting stress, delayed postpartum bonding, and higher bonding anxiety. They were more likely to consider their infants as stressors, and they reported more infant irritability. Poor maternal sleep was associated with increased parenting stress and with impaired bonding. Conclusion: The pattern of results suggests that mothers suffering from PPD are at increased risk to report poor sleep, high parenting stress, and difficulties in postpartum bonding, as compared to mothers without PPD. Mothers’ behaviour and infants’ irritability are associated. We claim that treatment of PPD should include support of parental competences, nocturnal sleeping behaviour and mother-infantbonding
    Swiss Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Basel - Switzerland; 06/2014

Publication Stats

1k Citations
686.65 Total Impact Points

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  • 1991–2014
    • Universität Basel
      • Faculty of Medicine
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland
  • 1990–2014
    • Universitäre Psychiatrische Kliniken Basel
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland
  • 2011–2013
    • Tehran University of Medical Sciences
      • Psychiatry and Psychology Research Center
      Teheran, Tehrān, Iran
    • Hamadan University of Medical Sciences
      • Department of Physiology
      Ecbatana, Hamadān, Iran
  • 2012
    • University of Leipzig
      Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
  • 2008
    • Universitätsspital Basel
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland
  • 2007
    • Philipps University of Marburg
      Marburg, Hesse, Germany
  • 1997
    • Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
      Mayence, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
  • 1991–1996
    • Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik Zürich
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland